Terrific course in SW suburbs- worth a good drive
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: equipment/amenities- new chainstar baskets. Long, level cement tee pads for whites and a few blues; markers in grass/dirt for other blues and reds. Maps on each hole with distance (hole 16 has recently been renovated but the sign has not changed accordingly. It says 220 or something, but is easily closer to 350). Many holes have benches and garbage cans.
design & playability- amazing use of land and elevation! Several holes have dramatic elevation changes up or down. Many baskets are precariously placed to entice risk reward shots. Play it safe and lay up or Go for the basket strong but risk climbing down a steep hill or ravine makes for many fun or aggravating shots. Great combination of open and heavily wooded, tight holes. Good mix of long "everything you've got" holes and shorter runs with putters/mids. Some holes have one designed line to hit, some have several options to consider. Many holes on this course could be considered signature holes (I've played here dozens of times and still stand at some tees and baskets and say "woah, now that's a cool hole"). Can't think of a hole that I wish wasn't included. Tough enough for better player to be challenged; playable enough for newcomers to not be discouraged.
Cons: Upkeep/maintenance- a lot more garbage than I care to see to see on a course, or anywhere for that matter. With garbage cans all around it baffles me how people could be so careless.
Some places can get overgrown causing good shots to be punished.
Hole 16s tee is less than desirable footing on a (hopefully temporary) rubber tee pad
Two holes are over/next to an access road to baseball fields next to the course. Watch for cars on holes 3 and 9!!
Honesty pretty minor issues taking into account the great golf to be played here!
Other Thoughts: I like that it is designed as two nine hole loops, allowing you to make a pit stop at the car if needed or easily start on the back nine for a change of pace.
Some reviewers have voiced concern about the neighborhood the park is in or certain shenanigans that might take place here but I have never encountered any problems and always feel perfectly safe.
With a little more attention and upkeep this course could easily be a 4.5 from me but for now it is a solid 4.0. Come out and enjoy this beautiful course in Chicagoland!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Discing in Bizarro Land...I loved it!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Well kept up Chainstairs on every hole which as expected catch very well.
- Huge level concrete pads in good condition. Now take that with a grain of salt because I only ever play the white tees here. I don't think all the Reds have pads and I am unsure of the condition of the blue pads.
- Fantastic use of the land. Up, down, left, right, etc. Every disc in your bag is needed here.
- I don't know what it is about this course but so many of the holes looked incredibly easy from the tee but by the time I holed out I thought to myself, "Jeez that hole was a bitch!" So many of these are deceptively simple.
- The tee signs were great with the nice little graphics - But more on that later...
- The setting in the back half of the park is just...bizarre. Really interesting to be sure but it's hard to imagine what this park was originally designed to be. There are washed out roads, random sidewalks and what appears to be a the abutments to either a brigde or piers to a dam, This really adds to the unique feel of the course.
- For the most part, there were benches and trash cans at most of the holes. My 44 year old knees really appreciated that after going up and down all those stairs and hills.
Cons: - #14. What a POS hole. Sorry folks I cannot stand pure poke-n-hope holes. There needs to be a defined fairway and there is none here. I probably would not mind this so much had the punishment for going off line not been so punitive. Flying into the ravines on either side of the basket is just unnecessarily brutal.
- I think this park is in the process of renovation because there are additional baskets on some holes but I also noticed that the distances on some of these were just way off. For example, there is no way #16 is less than 300' from the white tee and it is listed in the low 200's as I recall. I wonder if these off distances are the result of some changes and the signs haven't been updated yet.
- It's clear that this park gets a huge amount foot traffic and it shows. There was a fair amount of trash throughout but not horribly so. I think whoever is maintaining it is keeping up but more work could be done. If you're a local get your butt out to the course and help out.
- Navigation was a little annoying but not terrible. A few of the holes we had to wander a bit to figure out where to go like from #4 basket to the #5 tee. Other than that most of the tees were close enough to the baskets for navigation to be fairly straightforward.
Other Thoughts: This is a great disc golf experience. Well worth driving out of the way for. Bring your "A" game or expect to have your butt handed to you. It's a tough course but not unfairly so. I really enjoyed the challenges.
As I've alluded to already, this is a course with a high amount of traffic. If you live near here a way to pay it forward is to help out whatever league or club is performing maintenance here. As disc golf grows in popularity this place is only going to get busier.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Highland Park Joliet
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Ahh, this place was my go to course during my college days, and I always try to make it back to play a few times a season.
I've always said I wish I could pick up this course and move it out of Joliet, but what can you do. Great course in a not so great area.
*Start in the woods, throw a few holes in the open, and back in the woods is the theme of this place
*Holes offer a challenge to even the most seasoned of players
*Baskets are old, but still in great shape
*Multiple tees for different skill levels which are clearly marked
*All cement tees except for the new hole 16
*Lots of benches, gazibo type overhangs, and garbage cans
*Signs are accurate. VERY accurate
*Course well groomed
Cons: *My biggest con is the sketchy area. I always encounter something or someone on my trips to Highland that reminds me I'm in Joliet. It's a public park in a not so great area.
*Relatively busy (Great for the sport, I will not mark my course rating due to this) so plan accordingly.
*The old hole 16 which was a narrow shot down a path with the basket flirting with a huge drop off has been removed and replaced with a typical open field hole. I loved the challenge of the old hole 16
*trash and litter needs to be picked up
*Bathrooms would be nice
*Parking lot seems to have been an old mine field Very rough.
Other Thoughts: This place holds a special place in my heart and I will continue playing it for years to come. The Joliet area as well as the Southwest suburbs are home to some amazing courses. I'd reccomend traveling to this course and others in the area. The only thing that doesn't make this place a solid 4.5 for me is the sketchy people and the litter.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: - Good variety of tight vs wide open throws, left vs right, etc.
- No huge bodies of water to lose a disc
- Really nice looking and interesting fairways
Cons: There is one hole that has a hill that leads to a road, and if your disc rolls down and ends up in that road, you'll be climbing a tall stone fence to get back in the game.
Other Thoughts: There are street remnants in the woods, and stairs like there used to be houses out here.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Take a hike through the Highlands
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Challenging and interesting course that plays all around the park.
• Disc Play: Wonderful variety encompasses a gamut of fairway types (open holes in grassy fields, lightly, moderately and densely wooded holes), shapes, distances and terrain with red, white, and blue layouts to accommodate a range of skill levels. A few holes start in the open, playing to well protected baskets nestled away amid the woods. Nice mix distances - allows for a full range of lengths without having to different color tees. Some have several routes you can take, some give you only one or two and challenge you to hit a specific line. Makes for a well-balanced and quite complete round.
+ Elevation: About half the holes feature substantial elevation, ranging from subtle to dramatic. Splendidly employed in all sorts of ways, features uphills, downhills, ravines and plenty of rollaway potential (not only on putts and approaches but a few fairways as well).
+ Does a great job making short holes challenging. Quite a few baskets are short enough for almost any player to reach from the tee, but all of them really make you earn birdies. Short holes playing over deep ravines can be a real difference maker. Get through the trees and across, and you could be parked... take a bad kick off a tree and the resulting rollaway can be crushing. Others feature well-guarded pins or drop offs behind them. Bottom line is Highland's shortest holes aren't necessarily the most birdie-able ones on the course, especially for those who can hit 300 +.
• Equipment: White and blue tees are all concrete (except for #16) and in decent shape. Red tees are "natural" on about half the holes with a different look from the whites, and share the white pads on the other half. Most of the blues are unique with some really providing very different looks and challenges, but a few blues are common with the white as well. Signage is pretty good and reasonably informative (although you'll have to scout ahead to spot the basket on some holes). Baskets are older DGA's and functional (but not much more).
• Routing/Nav: Pretty easy to follow for the most part, course gets a lot of traffic, so paths are pretty obvious, which is good...'cause there's no map. Two 9 hole loops play back to centrally located parking.
• Aesthetics - Highland's standout features are the spectacular shots across deep ravines... very scenic with the steps leading down and away from the tee, coming all the way back up the other side. The rest of the course is a fairly pleasant stroll from field to woods and back ambling across some varied terrain.
• Memorable holes: For me, the holes with major elevation really stand out as the most interesting: #'s 6, 12, 15, as did 17 and 18
• Extras: Some holes feature steps that make an otherwise treacherously steep descent/ascent (especially when wet) fairly easy, while adding a certain rustic charm.
• One or two holes play near roads - hitting cars is a possibility (particularly on # 9).
• Baskets are old and pretty shallow, wouldn't surprise me if you get some bad bounce outs.
• Poison Ivy - easy to come by off the wooded fairways.
• # 13 (might have been 14): not saying you can't get to the pin, but there's no reasonably executable line from the tee - seems hopelessly poke and pray'ish.
• # 16: tee is a depression in the dirt/gravel - less than desirable footing.
Other Thoughts: Great course, offering a fun, scenic and challenging round with a little of everything. While I haven't played extensively throughout the Chicagoland area, I've played several of the higher rated courses and Highland has to be one of the very best (if not the best) in the area.
There are a few spots on the course I really don't think are traversable using a stroller or cart (holes 6 and 15). The terrain's not so demanding that one needs to be in particularly good shape, but it does require you to be reasonably able bodied and wouldn't I recommend playing here if you're recovering from an ankle or knee injury as some of the slopes are both steep and fairly long. Check out the course pics for #6 and 15 to see what I'm talkin' 'bout... do you really wanna deal with a cart on those?
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Fun & Challenging
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Variety of shots needed
- Length and openness of holes balanced and varied
- Elevation creates several interesting drives off of the tee and putts at dangerous greens
- Large, good quality concrete teepads
- Two nine-hole loops
- Good navigation and signage
- Benches at many holes
- Stairs to navigate steep climbs and descents
Cons: - Older baskets
- Trash frequently present around course
- Hole 16's gravel teepad
Other Thoughts: Highland Park is the one course I make sure to play if it has been a while since my last trip to the Joliet area. The hole variety and elevation on this course make every round fun from beginning to end.
The course is paced incredibly well, if you start getting tired of shorter narrower fairways, a longer, more open hole or two is upcoming. The result of which is a course without a considerable weak link.
The only thing this course does not have is a real water carry, but if you really want to chuck your plastic over a larger body of water, Round Barn Farm is a short drive south.
Most of the baskets are not in great shape and can lead to some unfortunate spit-outs, while not a big deal in a casual round, this can be quite frustrating when it happens in a tournament.
Highland park may be a bit rough around the edges, with trash frequent at some locations throughout the park, but it is not enough to take away from what I have found to always be a great place for a fun round.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Gem of a course!
Pros: * Great signs, not always a big deal, but these are some of the best signs I have ever seen. They clearly mark obstacles, other tees, distances, and of course the basket. One plus is the signs also mark where the tee is for the next hole.
*Terrific use of elevation. Even the open holes seem to use slight hills to shape the hole. Several holes cross either an old road or a ravine. There are holes going uphill, and downhill also. Some baskets are precariously close to a steep dropoff, and it adds some tension to those risky long putts. This is the best use of elevation I have encountered in Chicagoland so far!
*Very well shaped fairways. There is some of everything here; doglegs left and right, tricky s-shaped fairways, the above mentioned ravine crossing shots, long open holes that still favor placement over raw distance, and some relatively tight tunnel shots.
*Most holes have three separate tees to add/decrease the difficulty to suit everyone's ability.
*Great variety in the distance of the holes. Most are on the shorter side (200-250) unfortunately, but there are several bombers (+500) to even it out.
*The stairs are so, so nice. Touches like that can separate an average course from a very nice course in my opinion. They are very much appreciated, to whoever built them.
Cons: *Lots of trash. Trash everywhere. Also it seems like someone went through and smashed a glass bottle on every inch of ground they could. Seriously there is almost as much broken glass as dirt here.
*A little picky, but like I said there are a lot of holes in the 200-250ft range, and it would be nice if the average length was a little longer.
Other Thoughts: I just really wish I lived closer than an hour away from this course so I could play it more often. I see they are having a tournament here in a few weeks, so maybe I'll sign up to play that. The environment here is really cool, there is an abandoned road running through the woods, and some random benches in the woods. Everyone in the general Chicago area owes it to themselves to check out this great course!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A Hidden Gem Among the Flat Plains
Pros: -great use of elevation change
-very picturesque in the middle of the woods
-challenging course offers a variety of shots and situations you can't find everywhere
-very good signage for holes
-next tee indications help with navigation
-almost exclusively concrete tees
-stairs for steep climbs
-quality baskets in good shape
Cons: -some pretty muddy spots
-definitely can lose some discs
Other Thoughts: This course was fantastic and I honestly didn't expect to find something like this in Joliet. Most of the courses in the Chicago suburbs are VERY flat- it can't be helped for the most part and we live with it. This course has some very good elevation change for the area and they use it so well. There are several shots over ravines, uphill and downhill shots, narrow shots through the woods, just about all you could do on the plains. This course definitely will challenge and humble most players, but to me that is a lot of the fun of it. There are some muddy spots on slopes if you miss your shot, but nothing terrible. It wasn't my day and I lost 2 discs here but in general most of the woods are not super overgrown so I think most people would have better luck. I would definitely come play this course again and I highly recommend it if you're in the area. The course is very well maintained, and the stairs in key spots are a huge help. Great baskets and signage too. Bring some water and a snack, it can take awhile to play all 18 holes. There are definitely birdie opportunities but if you're not on your game some of those can easily turn to bogies. All in all, a great option that everyone should try out.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I was very impressed with Highland Park... it is definitely one of the best suburban courses I have played. Here are the pros:
*Unique holes! The holes here were well mixed and not your typical wooded vs. unwooded holes. They were special because of the crazy elevation at the course. Lots of uphill/downhill throws made the course super fun.
*Challenge: the challenge here was not overwhelming, but was definitely enough to whoop my butt. Plenty of longer holes and punishing roughs without being completely daunting.
*The overall upkeep of the course was great. The signs were the best I have ever seen and it really seemed like the course was someone's "baby"
*Very scenic park. overlooks a river and plays over an old abandoned road.
*Multiple concrete teepads on most holes!!! well marked.
*Disc golf is only one section of the park... it looked like there was even more to do on the other side of the park but I did not go check it out
Cons: *Hole 16 is like the runt of the 18 hole litter that is Highland park. What the heck?! It is difficult to find and there are no signs directing golfers to it (though we found a random piece of paper on the ground with the words "hole 16" on it). The teepad for this hole is gravel and it pretty seems like someone forgot about it. I don't think I've seen such a neglected hole on an otherwise awesome course before.
*One of the beginning holes teed off from foul ball territory of a baseball field. The throw was essentially over the baseball diamond. This is dangerous for disc golfers AND ball players and can be pretty lame if a game is being played.
Other Thoughts: For locals: My friend and I had a lengthy discussion over whether we liked this course or Eagle Ridge in Oswego more. I called it a tie. I also couldn't decide between Highland Park and Community Park in Channahon, but I gave it a slight edge over West Park.
For out of state-ers: If you are going through Illinois you should make every effort to play this awesome course!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Aesthetic--Plays through a multi-use park but the dg areas are pretty dg exclusvie. plays over a "ghost" road several times to bring a ravine into play.
Baskets-- old, but in good repair. visible enough in the thickly wooded holes.
Routing/nav--easy, has painted tines and next tee signs to help route you through the course.
Pads-- nice big (too big?) in great repair. multiple tees. some of the "short" tees are natural but are marked with red concrete tubes.
Challenge/variety-- Love it, there is such a big amount of goodness here. tight wooded holes, open field holes, into/out of woods. long short, great variety. Never felt unchallenged here by any means.
Risk v reward- the variety here drives the risk v reward. the ravine shots push the limits of disc golf. throwing across a ravine and UP a hill after is GREAT! Some of the long tees here are INSANE. I typically played the white tees and some of the blue tees were crazy!
Bridges and steps-- great! in great repair ( a little slippy when wet) and a great help for going up and down wet hillsides.
Signage- adequate. not the best signs but definitely adequate for routing.
Cons: Wet- low areas are wet and muddy. understanding this is uncontrollable.
hole 16- no tee pad? or did I miss it? I found a sign on the ground for a hole 16 but didn't find it. I found 17 and 18 thereafter easy enough. I did see the basket for 16.
trash- a ton of trash here. the upkeep isn't as nice as channohan but it's well loved by it's locals/ regulars
Other Thoughts: A great great course, I truly enjoyed it!
apparently the teepad for 16 is non-existant but in the works, instead of staying above the road, follow the road to find the tee and basket!
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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